Peer Specialist, Pathways To Housing Inc. – PA

Posted by Pathways to Housing on December 15, 2014

The Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) Peer Specialist provides education, support, and coaching for clients participating in the Peer GLB study in partnership with Columbia University. The Peer GLB study involves a group-based educational, skill-building, and healthy lifestyle program designed to increase healthy eating and exercise in overweight and obese individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). The GLB Peer Specialist works closely with agency staff (i.e. clinical teams, nursing and community integration) as well as the research team to lead group-based education sessions designed to help individuals with SMI achieve lasting health behavior changes, lose weight and improve their overall physical health.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Training: Participate in training for this study. This involves travel with the study team to complete a 2-day Group Lifestyle Balance training workshop in New York, NY. This also involves additional nutrition and exercise training sessions, as well as follow-up instruction regarding use of visual aids, self-monitoring tools, and other program components as needed.
  • GLB Coaching: Includes leading and facilitating healthy lifestyle group-based sessions involving a healthy lifestyle curriculum and nutrition sessions, exercise groups, and health promotion support under the supervision of study and agency staff. Responsibilities include drawing from personal experiences recovering from mental illness to validate clients’ experiences and to provide education, guidance, support, and encouragement to clients to actively engage in exercise and increase healthy eating. Reinforce GLB curriculum and professional recommendations for increasing regular physical activity and healthy eating during face-to-face encounters with clients and conduct 1-on-1 sessions with participants who miss group sessions. Encourage and support participants with goal-setting, problem-solving and self-monitoring.
  • Role Modeling: Setting examples of positive healthy lifestyle change, including regular participation in GLB group sessions, participation in regular physical activities, increasing healthy eating, and self-monitoring physical activity and diet.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate with agency and study staff to assist clients with referrals and escorts to health care providers for medical clearances, as well as conducting participant outreach and engagement to maximize recruitment, participation and retention in the GLB study. Collaborate with the GLB study team to promote a team culture in which mental health, health professionals and peer specialists work together to support clients’ healthy lifestyle change.
  • Provide on-going education to help non-peer team members better understand clients’ unique and subjective experience and perceptions.
  • Documentation and reporting: Maintain written and computerized records, compile reports, and complete other program documentation as needed, including tracking client attendance at all group sessions. Assist with tracking project expenses, including client transportation reimbursements for group sessions.
  • Team Meetings: Participate in case conferences, weekly supervision, staff meetings, and perform other duties as required.

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